The Virginia Creeper versus Solar guard.

Just glorious.

Just glorious.

The Townhouses, Units or even Villas ,if you like, are pleasing to look at. They are simple and without pretension. That’s why we decided to buy one and move in. The architect or designer avoided the temptation to put in Tudor, Cape Cod, English cottage, or absurd Mediternean touches. They all have a small entrance. When one squints, it could even pass as a front-porch. During torrential downpours the front doors will stay dry. However, if the entrance was any smaller it could well be called an overhanging eave.

The area that we live in is proudly Australian or English in origin. It is rare that one hears a foreign accent. It was a very traditional area for the well-heeled and warm retired from Sydney to move to. The climate is cold in winter and pleasant in summer. Many houses have brass names screwed on the front gates reflecting a  Scottish or English Heritage with names either ending in Brae or starting with Rose. It is not unusual to sometimes notice an elderly gentleman wearing a double breasted dark blue jacket with brass buttons, especially leaving the Sunday morning service with a smiling Reverend shaking hands with some of his more solid members of the congregations. We are somewhat out of the loupe, which would not be the case if we lived in Sydney. Not that the locals are not friendly. There is just this slight draw- back when our accents are noticed but  in most cases it is immediately followed by a friendly demeanour.

I am still trying to get a handle on why the locals in our compound were so hostile to getting things done logically and with reasonable care and diligence. One remembers the Body Corporate and Department of Fair trading during the height of the dispute about painters. I am beginning to think that our own heritage might have something to do with it. The sheer numbers of Continental Europeans that were soaked up elsewhere did not happen here in Bowral. This area always remained solidly conventional and stoically conservative and very loyal to the Queen of England.  Don’t mention the idea of a Republic here. Even the meat pies here are  graced with Royal awards and ‘Princess Diane had a pie in this shop’ blessings.

It has its rituals and unwritten laws of behaviour and compliance. There is order in neatness of gardens and short clipped glorious lawns with obligatory Camellias. We all obey the laws of nature strips at the front on which the garbage bins are put out in strict order and  times. Not a day before and always removed back out ofsight within an hour of garbage being collected. The dogs are walked with the obligatory plastic bags tied to the leash. We greet each other and say ‘morning’ or ‘good-day’.

I am just mentioning it while contemplating a lovely Virginia creeper. It is the last one. All of our eight townhouses were planted originally by a landscape expert and like the townhouses did have some unity and simplicity. However, some years ago all the planted Virginia creepers were taken out. One can still see the suckers clinging to some walls. However, our creeper defied the odds against the hands ripping the item out and survived. We keenly look forward to Autumn. The Virginia creeper shows its height of beauty during fall, in its splendid exhibition of burn orange to crimson red foliage.

We have  been told that this creeper and it’s friend the ivy are capable of causing havoc and worse, to lower the ‘value’. Value is a word that our neighbours often use. Ivy and all creepers will wreck and damage walls and fences, they said and took them out. The painting was all talked about in maintaining value. We happen to mention that we like ivy and also our Virginia Creeper. We further said we prefer the wall left unpainted if it means removing the last of the creepers. I noticed the look of someone as if we were praising something odious or very brown in colour. I added that perhaps some of the paint could be left behind for us to use if the creeper dies.

We wait with some trepidation when our wall with its creeper will remain unpainted.” Over my dead body”, Helvi said.

We prefer the creeper to a coat of PVA acrylic, even if the paint is called ‘Solar Guard’.

We will placate as much as possible, and at the Christmas party that someone always organises, I will add some extra chilli to the marinate of the chicken wings.

Lots of Chilli and loads of Spanish garlic.

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24 Responses to “The Virginia Creeper versus Solar guard.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Oh, you are devious.🙂 Yum, I’d enjoy eating those chicken wings.

    Like

  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    The old stodges are idiotic. I can not imagine killing Virginia Creeper except if it is growing up a tree trunk and choking the limbs and twigs. Every 2-3 years I cut it back. I don’t kill it. It is native here in the states and native where I live in Central Texas. It’s beautiful and the berries attract a variety of birds in the Fall.

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  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hello Yvonne. Hope you and Sally are well. We love our Creeper and it gives the place shade on hot days. It hasn’t caused any damage or taken off the roof. I always imagined Central Texas to be dry and can hardly see a Virginia creeper growing there.
    Fancy it being a native there.
    The old stogies here are well meaning and just follow in their well worn ways. You know, they are entrenched in tradition and white bread and bake a pudding at Christmas with a Yorkshire pudding following on Boxing day. Mince tarts and all.
    I really hope you are well and happy.

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  4. Julia Lund Says:

    You stick to your creepers! Who knows, maybe that’s what holds the house up?

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is odd isn’t it, Julia? I much prfer creepers growing up a wall or against a fence. The charm of a house surely lies in its ageing? When one can tell it is being lived in, surely proof of life having been lived . But, one has to be tolerant and accept some people like PVA Solar guard low sheen acrylic rather than Virginia Creeper.

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  5. Andrew Says:

    I vote for the creeper against the creeps. Spice ’em up good and proper Gerard. And throw in some iron filings for good measure. I’m planting honeysuckle and clematis in sympathy with your Virginia Creeper.

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  6. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I’m surprised the “slasher” didn’t rip out the creeper when he decimated the rest of the landscape. Your stodgy neighbors need you and Helvi to keep them honest. I’m sure they are all very nice people, but do they have any fun? Put a little extra chili in for Dr. A and me at Christmas.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The creeper is growing against our garage wall and for the slasher to attack that would be a ‘police matter’. We will defend that creeper till the end. The one thing that makes me nervous is running out of chilli. I have 2 jars and fresh ones when available as much as possible. I am putting a couple of pork chops on the Webber this afternoon. They are the first ones since Christmas!

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  7. Big M Says:

    Christ Gerard, are you still upsetting Enid and Betty by using the cheese wheel for your sangers. Next you’ll be polishing your bowls with clapped out undies, or urinating in the Don Bradman Memorial Pitch!

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I leave the urinating on Bradman pitch by Milo. We walk past it almost daily. Have you seen the latest sculpture dedicated to Marry Poppins? Yes the sangers come out at Christmas, Big M. But to their credit the cucumber/gherkin has been freshened up a bit by lemon juice and judicious use of some yoghurt.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        I seem to remember someone mentioning such a statue. Glad Milo is keeping his end up. Wonder what he would make of M.Poppins statue?

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Milo cocks his leg against her as well. Fortunately she carries an umbrella.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        What to make of this, Big M. Interesting read from Sedge.

        https://asidewrite.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/chris-hedges-the-most-brazen-corporate-power-grab-in-american-history-chris-hedges-truthdig/

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      • Big M Says:

        Yes, I don’t think many people realise that some of this happened with the FTA with America, set up by Howard, to help ‘our hard working farmers’. The PBS and public hospitals ended up paying more (in some cases hundreds times more) for drugs and other equipment. A couple of Big Pharmas even took our PBS to court as they perceived that the PBS paying for most of our prescriptions was ‘anti-competition.’

        Where will it all end?

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I am just happy to be able to get some Panadol ‘Neck and back-ache’ for this killer of a back-ache. I am on first names with some of the kind nurses at the local hospital. Some sit on the edge of the grounds having a well earned ciggy. They work their butts off, big M.

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      • Big M Says:

        Gerard, have you been to the doctor? It may be worth getting something like diazepam (valium) to settle the spasms and allow the frayed nerves and joints to heal.

        Yes, they work their butts off, but most of ours don’t have time for a ciggy.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        That’s what my dear h is saying too. Go and see the doctor! I think I will. In my thirties I was in hospital for a week with the same and was ready for a quack to fuse some vertebraes. But like Lazareus, I raised up got out of bed and walked out.

        I am now starting to talk like Mrs Murphy from the corner shop complaining about her obstinate corn.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I went to hospital yesterday and was given 6 endome tablets for pain relief. They work a charm. Very nice young doctor who did a thorough check up. She told me to take it easy. She comes from Shri Lanka and had a lovely smile.
        Thanks for the advice Big M. Helvi said, but..but….I have told you to do the same! Go and see a doctor!

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      • Big M Says:

        Helvi is a wise woman.

        Sometimes all one needs is a few days of analgesia to break the cycle. Hope it does the trick!

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  8. greenwritingroom.com Says:

    Hmm they sound un-reformable – hang on to that creeper.
    I wonder, though, about an even more subtle cultural difference which caught me off guard a while ago. I was, as a new volunteer, taking entrance money to our Lindy Hop class. I had someone keeping a helpful eye to make sure I knew the ropes, but she had momentarily gone elsewhere when the treasurer passed by. This woman (30 to 40 years younger than me) ticked me off sharply for some misdemeanour of process, and I felt really chastened and uncomfortable. After some thought, I realised that the style and tone of what to me was a ticking off were totally normal communications to her – she was from the Netherlands. She is a friendly person, but I remained uncomfortable around her for some time.

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  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    The creeper will stay. No compromise. As for the Dutch lady coming across as somewhat strong and insensitive. That would not be all that rare. They are not known for being shy or reticent. They say, the howling N-W storms have a lot to do with that. The further North you go in Holland the more abrupt people become.
    I am forever being told to p… off and go ‘back to where you came from’. Yet, I come from the south west where the accent of language is somewhat softer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Patti Kuche Says:

    I thought some Virginia Creeper would be right up their passive-aggressive alley.

    Like

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